The Compass Project is a self-formed group of graduate and undergraduate students in the physical sciences at UC Berkeley. Our goals are to improve undergraduate physics education, provide our participants with opportunities for professional development, and increase retention of students, especially those from populations typically underrepresented in the physical sciences. Compass fosters a diverse, collaborative student community by providing a wide range of services, including a summer program, fall and spring semester courses, mentoring, a research lecture series, transfer student programs, and other academic and social support. Our efforts have been recognized by the American Physical Society, who presented Compass with the 2012 Award for Improving Undergraduate Physics Education.
About Andreana Rosnik:
I am a third year Physical Chemistry graduate student at the University of California-Berkeley. I am fascinated by patterns and photosynthesis, and consequently my research focuses on illucidating the underlying statistical mechanics of stacked membranes, particularly those of thylakoid membranes. I have been involved in Compass for two years, primarily as a mentor and an organizer of the mentoring program.
I heard about Access through my colleagues at Compass; they were in search of someone to fill a couple of roles to represent Compass to a wider community of STEM programs striving to build community across a greater diversity of students through non-conventional means. I was familiar with the workings of Compass but wanted to see how other universities approached bridging the gaps in physics/STEM education and uniting students across backgrounds. I got involved with Access in early 2016, when I began to work as a Network Fellow representing Compass at the Access network. I believe we can enhance the learning and university experiences of students by providing them with more solid, more inclusive communities. With that mentality, in this role I hope to work to develop stronger approaches to developing mentoring communities at the sites by combining ideas from various programs.